Three men were arrested for allegedly running an illegal prescription buyback operation and defrauding government-funded health care programs out of more than $9 million, state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced yesterday.

The defendants are the owners of 184th Street Pharmacy in the Bronx -- Ahmed Hamed, 37, of Bayside and Tarek Elsayed, 48, of Elmhurst -- along with the supervising pharmacist, Mohammed Hassan Ahmed, 36, of Elmhurst.

According to Schneiderman, beginning in March 2013, the men routinely submitted claims for reimbursements to Medicaid and Medicaid-managed care organizations for medications they did not dispense.

On at least eight occasions between October 2013 and February 2014, the defendants allegedly paid individual patients hundreds of dollars to forgo their prescriptions, most of which were for HIV medication, according to Schneiderman. In total the men allegedly billed Medicare and Medicaid for more than $9.8 million in payments for prescriptions that were never dispensed. They also allegedly paid Medicaid recipients cash for referring new patients.

The defendants, who will arraigned Wednesday, didn't have lawyers by press time.